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Comment: Re:How about... (Score 2) 811

You can always lookup your flight on one of the seat rating sites ahead of time (try SeatGuru for example). You'll get a map of which seats to avoid, and data on the seat width and pitch for each airliner. You shouldn't have to "not know" what you're getting for your money if you just do 5 minutes of research.

Comment: Re: cram lots of people in a confined space (Score 1, Insightful) 811

I never cease to be amazed at the number of my coworkers who either don't realize they can, or don't care to, choose their seats ahead of time. We'll get to the airport and they say "I hope they didn't give me a middle seat in the back again!". It only takes a few minutes to logon, add your confirmation number to your frequent flier account, and then pick whatever seat you want. There won't always be a ton of options for free, but don't just resign yourself to sitting in whatever is left at checkin!

Comment: Re: Anthropometrics (Score 3, Interesting) 811

It's not even that expensive... there's usually plenty of Economy Plus available ranging from $50-$80 on a cross-country flight, down to $30 on a two hour flight (not exact, just my recollection). Life's too short to worry about $50 and get stuck with your knees jammed into an economy seat for 5 hours -- just pay it if you can. Honestly, if you can't afford the $50, then you probably don't fly long distances very regularly anyway.

Also, for business travelers who don't have elite status, you'd be surprised how many companies out there are willing to pay for extra legroom if you just ask.

Comment: testing (Score 1) 359

by dukeblue219 (#47824393) Attached to: How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

The *only* use? I completely disagree as an engineer. I have all kinds of "big boy" computational tools at my disposal, but at least once I day I turn on my TI-89 and use it for something. It might just be multiplying a couple numbers, or a square root, or whatever, but it works faster than starting up MATLAB or R to do it or trying to use the terrible windows calculator.

I don't know that I would buy one if I didn't already have it from school years and years ago, but it still works and it's my first instinct when I'm working on something that requires a quick answer but doesn't require more than one or two calculations to get there.

Now that said, I don't ever use any of the graphing functionality. Just the basic math, trig, *maybe* solving for a variable in a simple system.

Comment: Re:What about the FPGA? (Score 1) 136

by dukeblue219 (#47627451) Attached to: Parallax Completes Open Hardware Vision With Open Source CPU

FPGAs don't have any memory capacity? They absolutely do -- SRAM, Flash, whatever you're looking for. Some models can even self-modify their own configurations. Imagine a virus that can not only affect your OS, but actually re-wire the CPU in your computer. There are plenty of ways to compromise an FPGA both in terms of stealing the bit configuration or in terms of hiding malicious "code" inside the unused portion of the FPGA's fabric. The manufacturer could easily do this in cahoots with the NSA, or a highly-skilled operative could do it for any other reason.

Comment: Re:RUDEST PASSENGER EVER (Score 1) 928

Southwest doesn't have first class. It's an all coach discount airline. But, they board "A-list" members first and then the rest of the passengers in the order in which they checked in. Everybody lines up in numerical order based on a code on their boarding passes. This guy should have known better if he was indeed an "A-list" frequent flier of Southwest. He should have known to check-in right at 24 hours and there would be no issue.

Comment: Re:"Certificate", not "License" (Score 1) 312

by dukeblue219 (#45883515) Attached to: No. of vehicle license types I hold:

Not in America -- while it may be commonly called a PPL that is incorrect wording. It definitely does not say the word license anywhere on the certificate (and until recently they WERE paper certificates). Also, they never expire, which is why it is a certificate recognizing your training, not a license to perform an activity for a certain period of time.

Nothing is faster than the speed of light ... To prove this to yourself, try opening the refrigerator door before the light comes on.